More discussion this morning from commentators trying to make sense of the ongoing disparity of poll results in today’s Sunday Papers:
BPIX (Mail on Sunday) Con: 34, Lab 26, LD 30, Other 10
YouGov (Sunday Times) Con: 35, Lab 27, LD 28, Other 10
ICM (Sun Tel) Con: 35, Lab 26, LD 31, Other 8
OnePoll (People) Con: 32, Lab 23, LD 32, Other 13
IPSOS MORI (News of the World) Con 36, Lab 30, LD 23, Other 11
ComRes (Indy on Sunday and Mirror) Con: 34, Lab 28, LD 29, Other 9
To add to the complexity, YouGov polling in the Lab-Con marginals shows the Tories slipping to 34%. Labour is on 35% and the Lib Dems have jumped to 26%. This still represents a pro-Conservative swing, because of the drop in Labour support, but of only 4%, in line with the overall national swing. It would give the Tories 57 of these seats, not enough for a majority.
On the eve of the election campaign (before the first TV debate and the Lib Dem surge) I suggested that this election would see quite an ongoing disparity in the polls caused by:
- The Lib Dems doing much better as a result of the TV debates
- The ongoing difficulties that pollsters have in dealing with Lib Dems
- Misc. local factors that the polls wouldn’t pick up
- Large number of retiring MPs
- Reaction in some constituencies to certain MPs over expenses
- Large numbers of ‘other’ candidates standing
...all of which are very hard to take account of using the usual polling methods.
In the broader picture what now seems to be evident from the polls:
1. The Tory vote share pretty consistent around 33-34%
2. Lib Dems and Labour jostling for position around the 26-32% range, with Lib Dems apparently edging Labour into third
3. The “Other” vote finally being squeezed as the Lib Dems pick up on the ‘anti-politics’ sentiment. Whereas ‘others’ were around 12-14% ten days ago, they are now hovering around the 9-11% mark.